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Is there an affordable electric vehicle option for wheelchair users

Updated on September 3, 2012
Electric vehicle for wheelchair users
Electric vehicle for wheelchair users | Source

Electrical vehicle options

Have you looked at the price of an Electric vehicle? The prices are falling from where they started however are still higher than vehicles which use fossil fuels. After they are modified for wheelchair users it seems many of the benefits enjoyed by others is no longer there. For many these are not an option.

Fuel economy

With converted vans and cars fuel economy is something wheelchair users can only dream about. The conversions add weight which reduces fuel efficiency. This is a fact of life for those in a wheelchair who in many cases can’t afford it. Paying more to drive a vehicle the same amount of miles as someone who doesn’t need conversions is a way of life.With a Kenguru you can drive up to 60 miles/110 Kilometers on an eight hour battery charge.

The Kenguru takes you out to have fun

Conversions cost more than for parts and installation

An example from my life is a van my wife and I had modified with a lift after we bought it. We drove the unmodified van from California where it was purchased to our hometown in Nebraska. The van averaged 18 miles per gallon on that trip. We had it converted and drove it back and forth to California for years. The mileage was reduced by two miles per gallon on long trips and never changed.

Fuel economy non existent with fossil fueled vehicles

The cars my wife drove had the same problem. The wheelchair carrier which sat on top was heavy. It also increased the resistance of air ratio reducing fuel mileage. In town the extra weight reduced fuel mileage on the cars and the van. Her eight mile round trip to work used a gallon of fuel.

Simplest system for loading a wheelchair into any vehicle
Simplest system for loading a wheelchair into any vehicle | Source

Ease of use

With the Kenguru you have two loading options. You can load from the street or from a curb. Just roll in, lock up and you’re ready to go. The hatch which is overhead will keep you dry in wet conditions. On the website they say there is an option of a steering wheel or handlebars.

This electric wheelchair vehicle has value anywhere electricity is available.
This electric wheelchair vehicle has value anywhere electricity is available. | Source


This is an informational article for those who have a need. I am not a dealer or paid to advertise for this company. It is the most affordable way I have found for someone who has wheels for legs to feel more independent.

Electric vehicle for wheelchair users
Electric vehicle for wheelchair users | Source

Do you live where there are limited options?

When you’re legs are wheels the ability to go many places make you dependent on others. It is not fun if you don’t own a vehicle. The town I live in has only a few options.

The rest homes have busses which have lifts; they can only be used by the residents. There is local taxi service which uses vans. None of them have lifts. If you have a wheelchair which doesn’t fold they are not an option. A lift equipped van is available through a local agency if you reserve your spot in advance. You can also call a friend to take you where you need or want to go.

For many towns the same holds true. Scooters work when it is dry out and there is no snow on the ground. Most scooters top speed is five miles per hour. With some you can carry purchases while with others you can’t.

Will this affordable wheelchair electric vehicle work for you?

The kenguru is an electric vehicle which is an affordable option and great for wheelchair users. They are assembled in America. By no means can they be considered an alternative for those who have to travel long distances or are in a hurry. Their top speed is 25 miles an hour; a fully charged battery will take you between 50 and 60 miles.


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    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      6 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      This type of vehicle is meant for short runs. Nowhere does it say how long it takes to get up to its top speed of 25 Miles an hour. This is not meant for freeway travel. For those like me who live in a small town where the speed limit is 25 Mph they would be great.

      Although this vehicle is being built in the United States it was designed for the European market. There vehicles are smaller because of the cost of fuel. The definite plus for these vehicles in America is that if someone doesn't need to do freeway travel, they are ready to go. According to the website the Government has tax breaks and for many these vehicles will save tax payers money in that the government is buying these instead of more expensive vehicles which still require modification.

      Thanks for the comments Brett and freecampingaussie.

    • freecampingaussie profile image


      6 years ago from Southern Spain

      A very informative article and looks great for getting around . Voting this up !

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      6 years ago from Asia

      Great to see that there is an affordable option out there. A friend of mine has to use a massive ran that is provided by the government. OK, he does get it for free, but I often wondered why there was a need for such a large vehicle. This one would be much nicer and easier for popping to town!

      Shared, up and useful. Pinning too ...

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      6 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Thanks kashmir56 1 Although this vehicle won't work for everyone it is an option which at the moment most of those like me who live in a wheelchair don't have. A wheelchair converted EV just like the fossil fueled vehicles of today do not have great fuel economy because the wheelchair conversions add weight which reduces the amount of miles traveled.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      This is all great and interesting information and would be very helpful to anyone in a wheelchair that need this type of a car. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      6 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Molometer what it comes down to is if you need it you have to pay what they are asking or find another way. For the van I converted I went with used equipment. By the time it was installed it was over $1000 in 1993. The van only cost $1600.

      The van lasted until 2001 when an engine fire retired it. I have not a converted vehicle since. I did have to fight for an unrestricted drivers license which took three months. It probably cost more in doctor bills than I would have paid for another conversion. I have maintained the license though so can drive any vehicle I can handle unmodified.

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      That sounds like a lot of money considering it is supposed to be a purpose built vehicle. I sometimes think these firms are just ripping people off with these high conversion costs.

      I could be completely wrong but it does seem like a lot of money in extra's.

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      6 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Hlbowden from what I can tell they are as safe as they can make them. I do have some experience with building vehicle frames for racecars. The way the frame is constructed and the windscreen is set up, chances of survival unless hit by a Semi are pretty good. These were made to drive downtown where the speed limits are low. As a motorcycle rider in the past, I realize people don't pay attention to smaller conveyances. This is a chance everyone who drives a small conveyance takes.

      Molometer there are plenty of converted vehicles in the United States, the problem is price. Many people have help paying for their conversions. There are ways to have most of the purchase price of the Kenguru covered also. As an electric vehicle there are tax breaks which help.

      This vehicle comes in just three thousand or so over the price of the vehicle to be modified without modifications. Generally the equipment to do the modifications alone cost more than three thousand without including labor.

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is very interesting. How much are these vehicles? Seems to me that some US car manufacturers are missing out on a huge market.

      In the UK we have a variety of cars here for wheelchair users. They are generally regular cars with conversion kits added. Or the vans as you mentioned with the lifts.

      We are starting to see much better battery cars here with top speeds of 100 mph and 200 mile range. These must be the way to go. And the prices are coming down.

      Voted up interesting and useful. Sharing.

    • Jlbowden profile image

      James Bowden 

      6 years ago from Long Island, New York

      It is definitely a great, as well as a very smart alternative to provide another affordable means of transportation for those who are handicapped and wheelchair bound. However the thing that bothers me the most is it practical, as well as safe? In the sense of being compared to that of a death trap. The problem today on the road is that you have to watch out for the other guy. The other guy isn't going to watch out for you and if you confined to a vehicle like this, you have a better chance of becoming a statistic and very quickly at that! Unless you do not venture off of your own property. Otherwise a very interesting and useful article which I also voted up. Thanks for sharing with all of us here within the community.



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